Juice and Smoothies for Health

1 Feb

I love juice and I love smoothies. I also love being healthy. But really, who doesn’t? No one likes to be sick.

As a marathon runner I have to pay special attention to all of the signs when I feel like I’m getting sick. Any type of illness could put a damper on my training.

After fighting and fighting with a head cold, and finally visiting the doc last week, I realized what I should be doing.

I should be taking in more vitamins the natural way – through fruits and vegetables. But I can’t just sit and eat apples and bananas and handfuls of spinach all day, now can I?

Enter – Juice. And smoothies. I’ve been drinking my fruits and veggies every day for the past week – I kicked the cold, and I feel great!

I don’t know if the juice/smoothies and kicking the cold really go hand in hand, or if it was more of a coincidence – but what harm can eating drinking more fruits and veggies do?

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes for you to try! If you try them, I’d love to know what you think.

Sam’s Protein Smoothie (1 serving)

I drink this every day for breakfast.  I also use it as a recovery beverage after a hard workout, if I’m home.

Ingredients

  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder of your choice (I use Unflavored GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein – it has no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives).
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (Pineapple and cherry are my two favorites).
  • 1 cup orange juice or milk (I use the oj – it gives it a nice fruity flavor. I buy OJ that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D, so I don’t worry that it’s lacking essential vitamins. I just don’t like the milkshakey texture it has when made with milk).
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (Chobani for me, of course).
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach

Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green Smoothie

Looking for antioxidants? Try this:

Blueberry Immunity Booster (Approximately 2-3 16 oz. servings)

 (Here’s a great article on the health benefits of Blueberries)

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 apple or pear
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach

How you prepare this one is entirely up to you. I don’t own a juicer – so this comes out pretty pulpy. For this recipe I don’t mind – since it’s just like drinking juice with the pulp in it.

Either way – combine all the ingredients and either grind up in the blender until combined, or process all the ingredients through your juicer (If you use a juicer – either refrigerate, serve over ice, or blend with crushed ice before drinking.)

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Coachy’s Carrot Juice (Approximately 3-4 16 oz. servings)

This recipe comes from Coachy. You definitely want to use a juicer for this recipe or somehow strain/press it after the ingredients are chopped up and blended. I drank it chunky and it was very, uh, fibrous. Winking smile

Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • A pile of carrots (Coachy’s words, verbatim. I think I used about 6 large carrots)
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Shredded ginger (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients and either grind up in the blender until combined, or process all the ingredients through your juicer. Don’t forget my warning above. Smile with tongue out2012-01-24_18-42-36_628

Chunky carrot “juice”

Coachy’s Carrot Juice Smoothie (One serving)

Okay so the smoothie is actually my recipe, but I didn’t have a creative name for it. Since the base of the recipe is Coachy’s Carrot Juice, we’ll let him have some of the credit. Winking smile

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Protein Powder of your choice
  • 1 cup Coachy’s Carrot Juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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I have been trying to drink at least a glass of one of the juices (the ones that are not my daily smoothie) every day. If not more. Especially now – I just ran my 18 miler and my 20 miler is this weekend. That’s a lot of time outside, on your feet, in the elements, running your body into the ground. Best be prepared, right? After New Orleans, I’ll be recovering for a couple of weeks, and then jumping right back into training for Cox Rhode Races. There’s only 9 full weeks between Rock N Roll New Orleans and Cox Rhode Races. No time to be unhealthy!

I hope you’ll give some of my recipes a try, and let me know what you think!

Do you have any juice recipes you’d like to share?

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11 Responses to “Juice and Smoothies for Health”

  1. Nicole February 1, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    i love smoothies and the occasional juice! I really do feel like it helps me kick anything when I’m coming down with a cold.

  2. jodeexi February 1, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Love smoothies…can’t wait until it’s warmer and I feel like drinking them all the time!

  3. Jamie February 1, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I started drinking my vegetables too so I can get the nutrients I need! I think a smoothie is more fun than noshing on another salad. I don’t have a juicer either so just fill my blender with spinach and frozen blackberries, some honey or stevia and a cup of water. It’s really good! I started using almond milk this week and put together a spinach, frozen cherry, banana almond milk smoothie. Thanks for sharing the carrot recipe, I think I’ll go try that one out too cause I got a pile of carrots. Lol!

    • runcupcake February 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Ooh your smoothies sound great too 🙂

  4. Kristin February 1, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Thanks for the recipes! I have a smoothie maker that my mom bought me years ago and that I dusted off recently. I think I do an ok job at getting fruits and veggies in my diet but there’s definitely room for improvement…and, bringing a smoothie to work is a lot easier than carrying a 10 lb. bag of fruit! I love how you can pretty much add anything to a smoothie and, for the most part, it comes out tasting good. 🙂

    Good luck on your 20-miler this weekend! Mine is on Sunday. We can commiserate together afterwards!

    • runcupcake February 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Haha can you imagine carrying all those fruits and veggies with you?

      Good luck in your 20! Can’t wait to hear how it goes

  5. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers February 1, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I love all your “smoothie” glassware. 😉

    • runcupcake February 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Hehe I like to pretend they’re other beverages in the morning 😉

  6. Carissa @Fit2Flex February 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Great idea! I’ve been feeling sick so this will definitely inspire me to whip up a green smoothie tomorrow!

    • runcupcake February 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

      Yes definitely do! They work so well 🙂

  7. RunToTheFinish February 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    mmmm smoothies!! i actually just had my green smoothie for dinner because my body was craving it

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